, increasing the strength of the porcelain (participial phrase)

Gengle Knight

Senior Member
Korean-South Korea
Hello, there.

Bone china is a clay tempered with phosphate of lime or bone ash, increasing the strength of the porcelain during and after firing.
From the context, as I see it,
"increasing~" seems to modify the noun phrase right in front of it ("phosphate of lime or bone ash").

What I'm wondering about is whether a participal phrase can accompany 'COMMA'.
I usally see it used without comma like; a lion eating its prey

Thank you!
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Of the posssible answers, (d) is the only one that's grammatical. But I find the sentence awkward, since it's the process of tempering the clay which increases its strength.

    Here's what I think must be the original wording (taken from the Columbia Encyclopedia website):
    bone china, variety of porcelain developed by English potters in the last half of the 18th and early 19th cent. The clay is tempered with phosphate of lime or bone ash. This innovation greatly increased the strength of the porcelain during and after firing.​
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It's awkward for me too, Loob. I feel we need to supply (mentally) too many missing words:

    Bone china is a clay (that has been) tempered with phosphate of lime or bone ash, (thus) increasing the strength of the porcelain during and after firing.
     

    Gengle Knight

    Senior Member
    Korean-South Korea
    If I divide the original sentence into the following two, am I understood right? :
    Bone china is a clay tempered with phosphate of lime or bone ash.
    Phosphate of lime or bone ash increase the strength of the porcelain during and after firing.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The problem with the original sentence is that "increasing" doesn't logically apply to "phosphate of lime or bone ash".
    I would have to re-write the second of your two sentences as:
    Tempering with phosphate of lime or bone ash increases the strength of the porcelain during and after firing.

    I honestly don't think this question is worth spending a lot of time on, Gengle Knight: it seems like a rather poor question to me.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    As for the comma question, "a lion eating its prey" doesn't need a comma.

    A lion (that is) eating its prey should not be disturbed.
    This is a lion (that is) eating its prey.
    A lion, eating its prey, slowly turned to look at us.

    Here you can find an explanation of how to punctuate a participial phrase correctly.
    Grammar Bytes! :: The Participle Phrase
    (Edited - because the link gives a better explanation.)
     
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